1. Mahomes Goes Down. I love watching Patrick Mahomes play quarterback. In fact, it’s one of my favorite things to do, one of the things that brings me joy and to see Mahomes go down gave me that terrible sink in my stomach that goes along with some terrible news. Mahomes was, initially, his usual incredible self for the first part of the game, where he threw for 277 yards on 34 attempts, which works out for 8.15 yards per attempt and 4 touchdowns along with one ugly interception. But it was Mahomes 32 yard run that nearly deflated the rest of my fall, namely because I want Mahomes to be super-human and I realized that even Mahomes can’t come back from landing so hard on his shoulder.
I mentioned after the game that Mahomes is a tough guy and for him to not be able to come back in the game speaks volumes about the level of the pain he must have been feeling.
We’ll get to Shimonek here in a second, but if Mahomes is out for a significant period of time and this team goes to a bowl, then you should know just how good of a coach that Kingsbury is, especially as an an offensive coordinator and quarterback guru. George Whitfield doesn’t have jack squat on Kingsbury. I take that back. Whitfield has brooms and the beach, but that’s it.
2. The Defense Showed Up. We’re always used to tempering things and I’m going to temper things here too. Kansas is a pretty terrible offense and there will be quarterbacks that will complete some of those passes that the Kansas quarterbacks just missed. But the Texas Tech defense was, at least statistically, pretty terrible too and even when the Texas Tech defense was playing an equally terrible offense, there would be yards given up. The Texas Tech defense really only gave up one full touchdown scoring drive, the other touchdown drive was a result of the Cameron Batson fumble that gave Kansas an incredibly short field after forcing Kansas into a three and out and it was a quick three and out as well.
- But consider this. Kansas ran for 46 total yards on 28 carries. That’s pretty good.
- The Texas Tech pass defense (granted, the quarterbacks were terrible at times) only gave up 250 yards passing on 48 attempts. That’s just 5.1 yards per attempt. That’s pretty terrific overall.
- That’s less than 300 total yards. Can’t remember the last time that happened, so kudos.
- The defense had 4 sacks and 7 tackles for a loss plus 2 turnovers. High five.
See, we could really temper things, but I’m like a beaming parent on this one and I’m super proud of the defense because they never shrunk and they never backed down. That’s been a trademark of this defense. When the chips get down, they get even more down but that didn’t happen tonight. The one series that I thought was just terrible was Kansas’ first touchdown where the defense had no pressure on the Kansas quarterbacks and the Jayhawks just marched down the field. So for me, that’s the key, get pressure on the quarterback and things start to happen.
3. Shimonek = Bright Ray of Sunshine. Shimonek entering the game could have gone so many ways and I was setting myself up for utter deflation, but Shimonek was that beautiful ray of sunshine that comes through your window on a cold fall day, but that single ray of sunshine just warms you to the bones.
Enough with the terrible imagery or whatever. Shimonek was terrific, the three seam passes that led to his firt touchdown were absolute beautiful passes and he ended up passing for 271 yards for 12.9 yards per attempt and 4 touchdowns. That’s coming off the bench. That’s really having never played significant or meaningful time in a college football game. Shimonek came in when the score was 28-19 and had Shimonek not scored immediately after Mahomes went down then Kansas threatens to score again.
So, it wasn’t just not letting things fall off it was putting the pedal to the metal and extending the lead significantly. Not a beat was missed. At least for one game.
4. Special Teams Disaster(s). I’m pretty sure that I’m going to forget some things, but here goes. The botched punt in the endzone with Erik Baughman, who I can honestly say that I had no idea that Baughman was on the team and was actually punting. That tells you how much I’m paying attention. In any event, here’s a true freshman punting in a fairly pressure packed situation and I don’t know whether or not to blame Baughman or special teams coach, Joe Robinson.
Then, Cameron Batson fumbles a punt turning the ball over at a critical time, Kansas gets the ball right out of the half and the defense forces a three and out and that fumble gives Kansas life. It was, seemingly, one of those situations that could have created an incredibly difficult situation.
Then, Clayton Hatfield missed his second extra point of the year and I could have sworn he almost missed a third, but that squeaked through the uprights some way, some how.
5. Let’s Clone Jonathan Giles. Look, we have a lot of smart people at STP and I’m pretty sure that we figure out some what to clone Jonathan Giles. Giles was pretty incredible, catching 12 passes for 219 yards and 2 touchdowns. The amazing thing about Giles is that prior to this game Giles was averaging over 18 yards a catch and he matched that last night. Giles is an inside receiver putting up outside receiver numbers. And I think that’s because he’s so slick and so elusive. Whatever coach saw Giles and thought that he was a receiver trapped playing quarterback as a high schooler deserves a raise. Granted, it may have not been too tough to see what sort of player he was going to be, but Giles looks amazing and he’s borderline unstoppable.
6. Individual Defensive Performances. There were a ton of splash plays and maybe there were none more important than the play of Kris Williams, who registered 5.5 tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss and was just terrific in putting pressure on the Kansas quarterbacks.
- It’s been a while since we’ve been able to mention the play of Breiden Fehoko, but it was really good to see him get a sack.
- In the first half, defensive coordinator David Gibbs seemed to play this no-position defense, where the defensive line was all but standing up and the offense didn’t know where the rush was coming from. It allowed guys like Kevin Moore and Douglas Coleman to blitz and put pressure on the quarterback.
- Gary Moore and Kolin Hill played really well, Moore finished with 4 tackles and 1.5 sacks while Hill had 3.5 tackles and a sack. Their pressure was critical.
- D’Vonta Hinton and Jordyn Brooks are the truth. The linebackers did a terrific job of cleaning up what the defensive line cut off. they finished with just 2.5 tackles for Brooks and 2 tackles for Hinton, but it felt like they were in the right places at the right time. And how about that hit by Brayden Stringer late in the game. Heck of a hit.
7. Offensive Line Play. Man, that offensive line play after the first two touchdowns was tough to watch. If Mahomes had not been injured on his own, it was going to happen with the way the line was playing. It was particularly rough to see Madison Akamnonu struggle so much at right tackle. He was playing passively, just trying to extend the defensive end to an outside rush rather than meet the defensive end and use his hands and punch that defensive end. Engage that son of a gun. By the time that Shimonek got into the game, Lee Hays replaced Akamnonu with Justin Murphy at right tackle and Paul Stawarz at left guard and things were cleaned up significantly. Still though, Kansas had just 3 sacks, but it felt like a lot more. I’d guess that this is the way that things go moving forward.
8. Two Walk-Ons Starting in the Secondary. Think about the magic that David Gibbs is putting up on you with starting two former walk-ons, Kisean Allen and Theirry Ngeuema. Not only that, but Desmon Smith, Kevin Moore and Douglas Coleman are getting significant time. The secondary appears to be put together with string and bailing wire, but they don’t look terrible. Again, playing Kansas helps, but keep in mind the secondary when Texas Tech plays some teams that like to pass a bit more.
9. Ridiculous Penalties. Maybe we can say that not all of the penalties were maybe legitimate, but I think they were and 12 penalties for 70 yards is just ridiculous. It seemed like at every opportunity, Texas Tech was facing 2nd and long or 3rd and long, all as a result of the penalties.
10.a. Offensive Options. The combination of Mahomes and Shimonek resulted in 11 receivers catching a pass and aside from Giles, Cameron Batson had 8 catches for 88 hards and a touchdown. The play of Keke Coutee, who was criticized earlier in the year for not blocking enough, was terrific, catching 3 passes for 73 yards and 2 huge touchdowns. Dylan Cantrell had 5 catches for 70 yards and a touchdown (it was almost 2). The running game did struggle again, with Demarcus Felton only netting 48 yards on 11 carries and Justin Stockton was stifled for 3 carries and 7 yards. This was just a bad game for Stockton, who was bottled up on pretty much every opportunity and it felt like the defense knew that if Stockton was in the game, they needed to key on him, which they did. I still like Felton as a runner more than Stockton and as I’ve said before, that’s not a knock against Stockton because Stockton can do some pretty neat tricks.
10.b. Red. Helmets. I think the red helmets were fantastic. I’d love to see a black old school double-t on them and think that would be beautiful. As an aside, Texas Tech has worn this very same uniform combination before, way back in the day when E.J. Holub wore this during his career. This photo is from the 1960 Playboy All-American team.
E.J. Holub is in the red jersey and red helmet. The one that looks like a badass. pic.twitter.com/JbpT02RWdZ
— Seth Jungman (@SethC_J) September 30, 2016